by Jason Love
June 26, 2007
But recently, being summoned, I discovered that "jury service is not voluntary but a civic duty imposed upon all citizens pursuant to civil code section 204."
Desperate, I called my shrink for a note.
"It's jury duty, Jason. You can't plea insanity."
Pursuant to civil code section 204, I called the court and requested a one-time postponement, which the county clerk took personally.
"You're not happy with the date, Mr. Love? Well, when would this be convenient?"
"How about never. Does never work for you?"
It's not that I'm unpatriotic; it's that I HAVE A JOB. Now I'm just spit-ballin' here, but why not direct some of that 18-digit tax revenue to professional jurors, people who are at home watching Court TV anyway. Certainly they are more qualified than a man who, for a living, writes fart jokes.
Day of Reckoning
One of the reasons I work at home is that I'm not good at being on time. On jury day I would have been on time -- Scout's Honor -- but traffic backed up to my driveway.
I checked in with the county clerk, who seemed to be growing moss from the fluorescent lighting.
"Is there a reason you're late, Mr. Love?"
"Yes, ma'me. Overpopulation."
She led me to The Assembly Room, which squirmed with other abductees. Some gossiped over coffee; others read the funny pages, wondering why we don't call them the "now and then mildly amusing pages." So it goes.
Funny Cartoons and One Liners
After Reprogramming, we were free to graze in the courtyard. I traveled my bellybutton with tiny instruments while lawyers passed by in Armani and Hugo Boss. Just as I nodded off, a voice crackled over the intercom: "All jurors report to The Assembly Room. All jurors..."
We filed in cautiously, the way you do before your own execution.
"May I remind everyone that if you leave the grounds, you will be re-summoned for a full day of service."
We, The Chosen, sat in Courtroom 21 staring at the defendant, who tried to sober up and look like a puppy. The trumpets sounded and in walked -- on my oath -- Judge Smiley. He said the trial would take one week despite the fact that the defendant was obviously guilty. The mood was somber, and I, for one, feel that it's time bring back the court jester.
Then they got to the part that everyone was waiting for: "Is there any reason why you, the juror, cannot sit on this trial?"
I decided to follow the advice I found in "Playboy" (let this be a lesson to you men who don't read the articles):
"Your honor, serving on this jury would make it impossible for me to pay my bills."
Judge Smiley squinted as if he had heard that one before -- verbatim. The others pleaded their cases in turn. One woman sobbed that her husband was sick in the hospital. I knew I should have cried.
The judge then huddled with Armani and Hugo Boss while I fiddled with my pen cap. Snap on, snap off, snap on, snap off. Finally, the judge read his verdicts.
"Jason Love ... excused for hardship."
I let out a Robert-Blake-sized gasp and wanted to hug my neighbor. Come on, man -- I've been acquitted!
I walked out to a setting sun, released by civil code section 204. If all goes well, I will never again be that close to prison.
Children: Don't take my attitude to heart. I resist jury duty only because there are people in this world who cannot go even one day without fart jokes. American justice is the best in the world, full of checks and balances and county clerks who will grow moss to protect your freedom.
Just remember that jurors are in court all day, so you'll want to pack a lunch. I might suggest fruitcake.
Copyright 2007 Jason Love All Rights Reserved.
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